Newborn Nutrition; mTOR, TRT & Autophagy; What the Beans?!!; Type 2 Diabetic BJJ Recovery; Managing Bipolar
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News topic du jour:
A Review on the Serum Electrolytes and Trace Elements Role in the Pathophysiology of COVID-19
1. Newborn Nutrition [15:13]
Robb and Nicki,
Thanks so much for this awesome podcast and content you put out. I picked up the habit of jogging/walking in the mornings due to quarantine and everything, and the podcast is the thing I look forward to listening to most.
Anyway, my wife and I are expecting our first baby in February (quarantine baby). I feel like I’ve learned how to navigate the marketing gimmicks and bull shit labels that the food industry puts on my food, but how do you translate that to a baby? I want to avoid being sitting ducks to the baby food marketing geniuses, and to the pamphlets I’m sure the doctors office is going to hand us about some type of baby food pyramid.
My wife plans on breastfeeding.
How long would you recommend breast feeding, and is there a point where you incorporate real food in addition to breast feeding?
How soon can you introduce animal products? I saw some bone broth type baby food packs (I think either Robb or Diana Rodgers recommended it somewhere).
Extra Question if you have time:
Knowing what you know now, what is one thing you would do differently, or wish you did more of when your daughters were new borns (for baby nutrition, or otherwise)? Or some things that you did that worked particularly well? (I’ve already bought the baby sleep solution book you’ve recommended).
More info (if it is helpful):
The baby is a boy.
My wife and I are both healthy 34 year olds. Her mother will be with us through most of the breastfeeding phase (Nicki mentioned before that having someone to help with that would have been helpful). My wife is not keto, would an increase in electrolytes (specifically sodium) still be beneficial for milk production?
2. mTOR, TRT & Autophagy [23:46]
Thank you for answering the coffee question!! I tried a more expensive organic mycotoxin free coffee and had great success so THANK YOU.
My question now is if I’m on TRT injecting twice per week for a total of 100mg/week will I get any autophagy from fasting? I’d like to do a 3 day fast to help heal my nervous system and leaky gut. I’m just concerned that I may be in a constant anabolic state with high mTOR blocking autophagy. Thanks again Rob and Nikki
3. What the Beans?!! [28:51]
Gutten Tag! from Minnesota. Have you heard of Karen Hurd the bean lady? As an RD I’d heard about her years ago from a client, and thought her protocol was nuts! (literally) And then I forgot about her until Mark Sisson wrote a post about her because Julie B. of PaleOMG is doing the protocol. So Mark’s post is nice and all, but he didn’t look too far into Karen’s biochem of why the protocol works. She is also very against saturated fat, especially coconut oil, and loves unsaturated fats. Im curious as to your thoughts on her protocol and understanding the physiology. And are our poops really supposed to float. I’d always been taught no.
Thanks from the land of 1000 lakes.
a few links:
4. Type 2 Diabetic BJJ Recovery [36:15]
Hi Robb and Nicki,
Love the show and your books. I have a question for your podcast. I’m a type 2, possibly type 1.5 diabetic. I dropped 45 pounds when I was diagnosed but it seems to be genetic in my family so is just getting worse not better even after the weight loss. Age 47, I do weights, cardio and yoga once or twice a week each. I’m a 4 stripe white belt in BJJ. I try to train 3-6 times a week in BJJ. After BJJ, particularly sparring (but sometimes just drilling) I get extreme soreness, to the point I struggle to sleep sometimes. I know about low intensity exercise, hot and cold etc for recovery but I’m in pain all the time. Am I just old or is my diabetes causing this by slowing my recovery?
I try to eat fairly low carb high protein. Probably around 2400 cal 100-150g carbs and 220+ g protein. Too many carbs really shoots my blood sugar up. I’m also sitting at a desk all day and more so in lockdown so not moving much other than mentioned before. I’m walking around the house now and wincing in pain when I get up or sit down. It sounds silly but this just doesn’t seem normal. Any advice greatly appreciated.
5. Managing Bipolar [42:19]
I am a long time listener. I started reading and listening around 2011, when I switched to a paleo diet and saw improvements in my overall health.
I have bipolar 2 disorder without psychosis. I mostly deal with severe long term depression. Once every few years there’s some hypomania thrown in. The last episode was triggered by an SSRI due to a misdiagnosis.
There was one year—2012 or so— when I was stable and happy and off meds. I was eating a strict Paleo Solution diet and was working out, sleeping, and getting sunlight. I was doing everything by the book. I also didn’t have kids yet.
Since having kids, I have found it impossible to maintain the lifestyle as well as I need. Postpartum depression kicked my butt and sort of never left.
Standard treatment is mood stabilizers. Even lamictal, which is considered the “best” in terms of its low risk of side effects, is giving me vertigo, making me dumb, and making me feel like I have chronic morning sickness. I am gaining weight because I’m always hungry— something the doctors said wouldn’t happen. And no, I don’t normally struggle with my weight.
Aside from being militant about everything I mentioned earlier— sleep, exercise, diet, and sunlight— do you know of any specific protocols for managing bipolar off meds? Even the mention of this sends people into a tailspin, but it’s something I am really looking into.
You’ve been so helpful throughout the years. Thank you!
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Nicki: It’s time to make your health an act of rebellion. We’re tackling personalized nutrition, metabolic flexibility, resilient aging, and answering your diet and lifestyle questions.
Nicki: This is the only show with a bold aim to help one million people liberate themselves from the sick care system. You’re listening to The Healthy Rebellion Radio.
Nicki: The contents of this show are for entertainment and educational purposes only. Nothing in this podcast should be considered medical advice. Please consult your licensed and credentialed, functional medicine practitioner before embarking on any health dietary or fitness change.
Nicki: When Robb gets passionate, he’s been known to use the occasional expletive. If foul language is not your thing, if it gets your britches in a bunch, well there’s always Disney+.
Nicki: Good morning.
Robb: Good morning wife. I think you look quite lovely today. You were being very critical of your appearance prior to recording.
Nicki: Thank you, you’re so kind.
Robb: Hoping to get laid later.
Nicki: Ever since I had Luis’s fiance, who’s a plastic surgeon tell me that I have prolapsed fat under my eyes that will never go away, because I always thought … After I had Sagan and had significant lack of sleep for, gosh, three plus years.
Robb: Three plus years, yeah.
Nicki: She was a little bit rough. I noticed that I had these puffy things under my eyes, and I don’t really wear makeup so whatever. And I just thought it would go away once I had a more regular sleep schedule. And she told me, “That is prolapsed fat, and it’s never going away. You would look much better, we could put some …” I think she said, “Hyaluronic acid or something in there.” Or, she could go in and like extract it out. Neither of which sounded very appealing to me. So this is an early morning recording, and I don’t know why I went off on that tangent, but here we are.
Robb: We just continue to provide less and less value as this thing goes along, so yeah.
Nicki: Oh goodness, yeah. Okay. I think it’s just a matter of not enough. I haven’t had a full cup of coffee yet.
Robb: Nobody’s fault but your own. Drink it faster.
Nicki: This is true. Goodness. Okay. So, what’s going on in the Rebellion. We had a live chat yesterday.
Robb: Which was super fun.
Nicki: Always fun.
Robb: About 80% of it was drugs, drug use, psychedelics, we learned things-
Nicki: We have some rebels in The Healthy Rebellion community. Have very interesting past lives.
Robb: Indeed, and nearly did things that would foster a past life, like dying from this stuff.
Nicki: This is true. I mean normal chats, we run the gamut of food, sleep, poop, regenerative ag, all kinds of stuff. The state of the world. But yeah, yesterday’s was-
Robb: I don’t know how we got on it, but-
Nicki: We went down a rabbit hole.
Robb: But it’s fun, we have a lot of fun on those.
Nicki: Super fun. Yeah. We got another one coming up next Friday, November 20th.
Nicki: Wednesday, November 18th, we’re going to learn how to cook beef tenderloin celeriac puree. … I have a hard time saying that. … And greens with Rebel member Jack Ruston.
Nicki: We’ve got our virtual holiday party coming up inside The Healthy Rebellion, that will be Thursday, December 3rd.
Robb: I’m planning on being passed out drunk, just as that starts.
Nicki: You always say that, but you are like, not the life of a party when it comes to having a cocktail.
Robb: No. I’m not. Because there’s the aftermath, which I’ve done enough. Took me a long time to figure that out.
Nicki: Yeah. You reach a certain point, and it’s not worth it.
Robb: The juice is not worth that squeeze.
Nicki: Not worth the squeeze. Okay. And then, Saturday, December 12th, Rebel member Chef Eva Bee, is going to do a holiday dessert cook-along. So we’re looking forward to that. We’ve got more live chat cued up for December as well.
Nicki: So if you guys are missing out on what’s in there, and resets in the new year. So now is a great time to join us over in The Healthy Rebellion. You can do that by going to join.thehealthyrebellion.com.
Robb: And I’ll just throw this out there. Clearly we’re completely self interested, we’re trying to shake you guys down to go join us and spend some money on a health and resiliency related community.
Robb: I will say this, we just passed our one year threshold, I am shocked by how many people who signed up initially, resigned up.
Nicki: A lot of people had an initial, when we first launched-
Robb: A founders club.
Nicki: A founders club for people who signed up.
Robb: Like I’m honestly kind of surprised. Like I work my ass off, our team works their ass off to provide incredibly value to people, and I feel like we provide far more value than what we’re asking of folks, and I think that that’s as it should be.
Robb: But I was delighted at the number of people that stuck around, and it’s been very heartening to hear from people that in this time, when the world is just kind of fucked up, and kind of crazy, you can go there. And we have some conversations sometimes, and get a little bit frisky. But people are respectful, they’re honest. I think the thing about what goes on in there, is when we’re talking about people, they’re sincere in whatever the position in that they’re trying to articulate. And so folks are like, “Okay. I see what you’re saying there. But, I’ve got this perspective here.”
Robb: And maybe it just ends up being like this kind of vent session. But, the point being that a lot of people have said they want community, they want connection, they want to be able to stay on top of things like health and training and what the heck is going on with COVID and stuff like that.
Robb: But they want it in a spot where it’s not pure insanity, it just drags you down, like just feels like a weight around your neck. And I will toot the horn of The Healthy Rebellion that god dammit, that place is doing a pretty fucking good job in that regard.
Robb: So pitching you guys, if you want to come and hang out with us. That’s great. We’d love to have you, and I feel like there is plenty of value there for virtually anybody that is just sincerely looking for some community, and some very bright people that talk about health and longevity, and all the things that assuming you’re still even listening to this podcast. That’s why you’re here, just another layer deep on all of that.
Nicki: Yeah. Really good folks.
Nicki: Okay. Let’s see here. Oh, and yeah…
Robb: You want to do your Slowdown Farmstead piece?
Nicki: Yeah. I wanted to read something, speaking of living in a crazy world. I know I’ve mentioned Tara Couture and Slowdown Farmstead on the show before. Her handle is @slowdownfarmstead on Instagram. She’s been censored there, relatively frequently for sharing photos of life on their farm, on their farmstead. Particularly ones of when they’re showing … butchering an animal, harvesting an animal.
Nicki: She even got censored on a picture of her crock pot or soup stock pot that had, I think, some pigs feet and chicken’s feet, and different parts of animals. She was going to make a stock-
Robb: She did the horrible thing of putting animal parts-
Robb: Can I finish my thought? … In a way that’s still identifiable as animal parts. That’s where she fucked up. That is the offense because then … It’s like, “Oh, a chunk of meat or a bone. Maybe that’s a piece of dicon radish or something.” You know? “No, it’s feet. Like this is life, this is death.” And that was the horrible mistake she made.
Nicki: So Instagram had to step in and protect us all from the horrors of what she was cooking. So anyway, she’s one of my favorites, and as you know, we’ve deleted Instagram off of our phones. But, she’s one of the pages that I go to when I’m on my desktop, and I go to check in on a couple of people that I like to follow. She’s absolutely one of those people.
Nicki: And one thing I love about Tara is she perhaps one of the most eloquent women I know. What she writes, just every word just drips with beauty. It’s just amazing, and she’s really good at describing what’s going on in the world around her.
Nicki: She last week posted this photo of her hands holding this birds nest and then I’m going to read the words that accompanied that photo.
Nicki: She says, “It’s a funny world we have arrived at. A place and time where common sense is whispered by the radicals, where real food is elitist. Where women happy to claim the gifts of motherhood are oppressed, and men expressing their masculinity are toxic.
Nicki: A fringe group of the withered and stunted shout and heave against morality and tradition. The bonds of family are suspect, individual gifts and talents must be hobbled for the sake of equality. There can be no illuminaries. Dim the lights, dim the lights. We’ll be a collective of hyenas all nipping and snarling at each other’s heels to keep each other in line. No questions, no leaders, no virtue. Just rules and made up words and labels to abide by.
Nicki: Signal your worth while doing nothing worthy at all. No human can ever cancel another, such a foolish concept. I’m a child of God, how could a mortal human ever erase me without my consent?
Nicki: Speak, share, love, do not empower hate, connect with nature, and find absolute truths, even if it’s in something as small and miraculous as an acorn or a birds nest built of cow tail hairs blown from a tree to land precisely at your feet as you walk by. Be there for that.
Nicki: Marvel and solidify at your smallness and the beauty of creation. Be still, accept truth, press your luscious pounding heart against a mighty tree and listen. Let the perversions of modernity leak out of you. A pool of lies and manipulations gone from your mind, release from your heart dripping out into the atmosphere where they are picked up by the laughing winds and dispersed with ease. Fortification for the weary.
Nicki: There’s no holding power to imaginary stories, they are simply fables of our time. Speak, stand firm with conviction, answer to a higher power, be loyal to your ever listening heart over the approval of another. Be duty bound to repay the gift of your life by your meaningful work and the goodness you create. Refuse to be silenced. Courage, my love.”
Nicki: Pretty powerful stuff. So if you guys are still on Instagram, follow her, it’s well worth it. And if you’re not on Instagram or you don’t want to …
Robb: Deal with those shenanigans.
Nicki: If you want to read this stuff and have it land in your inbox when she puts it out there. She also publishes everything to her blog, and she has an email newsletter as well. So those you can find at slowdownfarmstead.com, definitely recommend signing up for the newsletter. She doesn’t send stuff frequently, but when she does, it’s amazing.
Robb: It matters. Yeah.
Nicki: Okay. Hubs, news topic time.
Robb: Real quick and easy. A review of the serum electrolytes and trace elements role in the pathophysiology of COVID-19. And the long and short of it is that some of the significant complications that occur in folks appear to stand at least in part from a sodium deficiency.
Robb: And so, plays right up our alley with element. I’m not saying element is going to cure COVID, but it’s another one of these situations where proper attention to electrolyte balance really is quite important like as we dig more into this stuff, you start finding more and more situations where this is really a pretty important topic in something that is highly modifiable, quite controllable. And so, if and when there is an issue, it’s something to just look at and we can actually take control on it, I have a link to the paper itself.
Robb: That was pretty concise, huh?
Nicki: It was. Yeah. Okay. We’ve got our t-shirt winner for this week. It goes to Nicknamebae, “Scientific proven advice. I can’t get enough of Robb and Nicki’s relatable energy, razor sharp insights and unwavering dedication to seeking scientific truth. It’s so clear that their chief motivation is helping people get healthy and live their best lives. And by the way, they are winning at that life goal. Forever fan.”
Nicki: Nicknamebae, shoot us an email to [email protected] with your t-shirt size and your mailing address. And we will send you a Healthy Rebellion Radio t-shirt. And thank you for your review.
Robb: Very cool.
Nicki: Yeah. In this episode of The Healthy Rebellion Radio is sponsored by Joovv. Joovv Red Light Therapy devices can help reduce pain and inflammation, improve sleep, help rejuvenate your skin, and boost your libido. I’m not sure if they can help with prolapsed fat bags under your eyes, but maybe.
Robb: Give it the old college go. Nothing to lose.
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Nicki: Again, that’s joovv.com/robb.
Robb: You know, it’s almost impossible for me to hear the term mount used in polite conversation and not have a bit of a Beavis and Butthead laughing moment. …
Nicki: Okay. Nevermind, my mind went to Jiu-Jitsu once you started bringing that up. But I think your mind probably wasn’t going to Jiu-Jitsu.
Robb: If it was Jiu-Jitsu, it’s the triple hook, not the double hook. So yeah.
Nicki: Folk, apologies. We’re going off the rails today.
Robb: Don’t know that we ever made it to the rails. But, it’s what we got.
Nicki: Okay. Our first question today is from Nate on Newborn Nutrition. “Robb and Nicki, thanks so much for the awesome podcast and content you put out. I picked up the habit of jogging and walking in the mornings due to quarantine and everything, and the podcast is a thing I look forward to listening to most.” That’s pretty darn cool.
Robb: That’s cool.
Nicki: He says, “Anyway, my wife and I are expecting our first baby in February, a quarantine baby. I feel like I’ve learned how to navigate the marketing gimmicks-
Robb: There’s that mount thing again.
Robb: Sorry. Maybe I’m just frisky today. I don’t know.
Nicki: Maybe you are. Okay. “I feel like I’ve learned how to navigate the marketing gimmicks and bullshit labels that the food industry puts on my food. But how do you translate that to a baby? I want to avoid being sitting ducks to the baby good marketing geniuses and to the pamphlets I’m sure the doctor’s office is going to hand us about some type of baby food pyramid. My wife plans on breastfeeding. Main questions are, how long would recommend breastfeeding? And is there a point where you incorporate real food in addition to breastfeeding? And how soon can you introduce animal products? I saw some bone broth type baby food packs, I think either Robb or Diana Rodgers recommended it somewhere.”
Robb: Do you want to hit that first? And then we’ll do their bonus question that they weaseled in?
Nicki: So the breastfeeding question is totally up to your wife. Some women like to breastfeed for two years. Some longer. I think that-
Robb: We have some friends that their kids are in college and they’re still breastfeeding.
Nicki: No. Come on.
Robb: They’re pretty god damn close. And that’s fine, do whatever you want to do on that. But, there’s just a big spectrum on that.
Nicki: Yeah, and there’s a lot of factors that go into that too. Like hopefully everything goes smoothly and easily, and whatnot. If your wife … Also with COVID, a lot of people are working from home. So if your wife is either not working or able to work from home, that can make that a lot easier. I know pre-COVID that could be challenging for women, so many women would choose to breastfeed for as long as they were able, and then would pump while they’re at work so the baby could have breast milk, whether at work, and then breastfeed at night. We’ve got a child awake, we tried to do these early, but it doesn’t always-
Robb: Not early enough.
Nicki: It doesn’t always work out. … So again, that’s a really personal decision. And, is there a point where you incorporate real food in addition to breastfeeding. And there’s lots of books on the market that talk about this, that you guys can check out. If I can think of some, I’ll put some in the show notes.
Robb: I mean, Lily Nichols is always, she’s just like my North star on all of this stuff. She’s amazing. Both the getting pregnant, being pregnant, and then kind of where to go post-pregnancy. Chris Kresser had The Healthy Baby Code, I think that’s still around, or at least pieces of it are still around and available. Talks about all this stuff. And honestly, animal products seem to be the least immunogenic things for kids to kind of experience. I would say that there seems to be mixed … You want to be careful with eggs, put it that way.
Robb: Some kids will projectile vomit with them, initially, usually the yolk is safer than the whites. But, that is one spot that you maybe want to punt that a little big. Bacon, I believe was the first thing that we-
Nicki: So I mean most people say start adding solid food or real food in around six months. Some kids really show interest earlier than that. Like at even four or five months. So again, it’s kind of an individual situation. If you’ll have your little one kind of in a high chair next to you or on your lap while you guys are eating. And if they’re interested in what you want on your plate, then you can kind of play with that.
Nicki: But I think standard advice is around the six month mark. And animal products are a great first one.
Robb: Do you want to talk a little bit about the … In the beginning the kids don’t have teeth, so they’re just kind of gum things. But then, we also started chewing the food for the kids. Do you want to talk a little bit about that?
Nicki: Taking like a small bite of steak and chewing it up, and then … I know it sounds gross, but-
Robb: And then in this age of COVID, we’re like, “Oh my God everybody, infection.” Like we have a paper that we just became aware of, that it’s talking about some of the potential knock on consequences of a hyper hygiene environment. And this is a peer-reviewed paper, that doesn’t mean it’s right. But it’s not an opinion piece, but we mentioned this ages ago, and was generally well-received and then we had a friend of ours who’s in the dental hygiene scene. And she’s like, “Oh my God, you can’t do that.” This is something that is endemic to all traditional cultures. You didn’t have a blender, you didn’t have a Magic Bullet. There’s this gap period between the kid having teeth and being able to chew things, and not-
Nicki: And they didn’t have crispy rice puff or rice cereal back then either-
Robb: Or god damn Goldfish. Yeah. So, yes.
Nicki: It was meat.
Robb: So I would just throw that out there. It was just kind of a moment, where I was sitting with Zoe, and she clearly wanted more of what was going … Whatever I had, I think it was some steak or something. And I just kind of chewed it up, and took just a little tip of my finger size dab, and pulled it out of my mouth. Plopped it in her mouth and oh man, she was all about it.
Robb: And the cool thing about that is the solid food does seem to kind of sit with the kids longer. So it buys you a little bit more time between the breast milk feedings and all of that type of stuff. So yeah.
Nicki: Let’s see, what else. He mentions the bone broth. So yeah, there is … Serenity Kids, is a-
Nicki: A baby food company that is part of … Has arisen out of this ancestral health movement, and it’s all organic and grass-fed meat. Yeah, really, really good stuff. So that’s an option.
Nicki: Let’s see here. I need to throw in an extra question, “Knowing what you know now, what is one thing you would do differently or wish you did more of when your daughters were newborns? Or, some things that you did that worked particularly well?” And he said that he already … He listened that we mentioned that having someone help with breastfeeding would’ve been helpful. His mother-in-law will be there to help. So that’s awesome. That is huge.
Robb: I guess maybe we covered that. Like the chewing. In my opinion, I wouldn’t be afraid of giving that a shot. Like it can buy you some margin on that-
Nicki: One thing I would say is, if you can, and who knows what the state of our world will be in February, when your little boy arrives, is spending time outside, like to get that circadian rhythm. We’ve mentioned this in previous shows too, but out in the morning for a walk, in the evening after dinner for a walk. Oftentimes, when a baby is born, people tend to stay inside all the time, or a lot of the time. And there’s no reason for that. If you can get out and bring the little guy along. It can really help with setting the sleep rhythms.
Robb: Oh, and the 90 minute sleep solution was just amazing. Newborns tend to have these 90 minute wake cycles-
Nicki: He says he’s already bought the Baby Sleep Solution that you recommended. So he’s dialed in.
Robb: He’s good. You’re good. You’re way ahead of where we were. You have learned from our mistakes.
Nicki: And everybody will say this to you. Like just enjoy it because it goes by really, really fast, and before you have a kid you’re like, “Yeah. Okay, sure.” And when you’re in the middle of it, “You’re like holy hell, this is hard. What did I do?” But it really does.
Robb: It goes by so fast.
Nicki: Each phase just races by.
Robb: And you just feel like you’re kind of getting the current phase figured out, and then it’s gone. And then the tree-frog phase is so short. Where they’re just this tiny little entity that curls up on your sternum and then they’re out of that quick. And congrats, keep us posted, and let us know how things go.
Nicki: Yeah. That’s awesome.
Nicki: Okay, we’ve got a question from Carter on mTOR, TRT, and autophagy. Carter says, “Thank you for answering the coffee question. I tried a more expensive, organic microtoxin-free coffee and had great success. So thank you. My question now is if I’m on TRT, injecting twice per week for a total of 100 milligrams per week, will I get any autophagy from fasting? I’d like to do a three day fast to help heal my nervous system and leaky gut. I’m just concerned that I may be in a constant anabolic state with high mTOR blocking autophagy. Thanks again.
Robb: Really interesting question, and I’ll try to be concise with this. Peter Attia did an analysis of a study where they looked at folks who were fasting, not on TRT, and then fasting with TRT. And I can’t find it. I looked, and looked, and looked, but maybe somebody else’s Google, or DuckDuckGo, Fu will be better than mine. But what was interesting is that in both cases people lost weight, not surprising. They were in a significant calorie deficit. The TRT group was interesting in that they really didn’t lose any muscle mass or lean body tissue. And Peter kind of observed it, and he’s like, “Wow, that’s interesting.” And could be a way that this could be an interesting therapeutic intervention.
Robb: One thing to keep in mind when we’re thinking about autophagy and mTOR, and all this type of stuff. It’s not a binary on/off story. You’re not quite the way that we portray it. And testosterone has more activity on myostatin than it really does on mTOR. mTOR is really driven by kind of nutrient signaling. And this is another thing, like with element, sometimes people say, “Well, you have stevia in it, that’s going to have an insulin release. So it’s going to bugger the whole thing.” And it’s like, “For the love of God.”
Robb: If you’re in a fasted state … So one thing, backing up. I’m not a super big fan of Valter Longo, his work has been cool I guess, but the whole $250 a week for shitty processed food that is 500 calories a day, versus having an avocado and a piece of salmon and call it a day. Like it makes me kind of crazy.
Robb: But, what we’ve seen out of that, and we’re seeing health benefits from that process. Which again, I will make the case that all or most of the health benefits are simply because people are no longer overeating and if you’re not overeating to start off with. I’m really dubious as to what type of upside there is there.
Robb: And this really rankles the folks that things that there’s some magic fountain of youth waiting at the end of fasting, but when you look at cultures that just don’t overeat, they tend to have good health and longevity. And there’s a whole variety of reasons that I don’t think that there’s going to be something huge and magical waiting above and beyond that. Which is why I’m kind of like, fast if you want to, but I wouldn’t do too much-
Nicki: You can fast if you want to-
Robb: Oh my God. You can leave your breakfast behind. So where am I going with this? I thought I was going to be concise, and now it’s not really that concise. Long and short, I don’t think that TRT is going to interrupt autophagy, and I also wouldn’t get wrapped around the axle of that.
Robb: And again, linking back to my thought around stevia and knocking you out of autophagy. Insulin is a factor, as is carbohydrate, as it is amino acids. In this situation, where you’re just having something, let’s say element or anything that’s just like artificially sweetened. Yes, some people do have an insulin response, that is one factor that may have some impact on mTOR activity in autophagy.
Robb: And then guess what happens? Your blood sugar drops even lower after that, which is going to enhance the process. So, I don’t know, I can’t credibly say that it’s going to be good, better, or worse. But I can’t see how it just nukes the whole process. When you’re going from eating either too many calories, or maintenance calories, to no calories. Like this tiny little blip of an insulin response that’s going to last like 20 minutes, is just going to destroy your whole fasting process. This is where I think people just get so optimization neurotic, that it’s kind of silly.
Robb: But the long and short, I don’t see TRT interrupting any of this stuff. And again, what is the goal here? Like what are you wanting to do? And I think he actually mentioned that maybe-
Nicki: He just wants to heal his nervous system and leaky gut.
Robb: Yeah. And it might. And then again, it might not. So-
Nicki: N=1, give it a shot?
Robb: N=1, give it a shot. Fasting can help people. It doesn’t fix everything, and under all circumstances, and in some situations it breaks people. So just be aware of that.
Nicki: Okay. I have a question from Brenna, about beans. She says “Guten tag, from Minnesota. Have you heard of Karen Hurd, The Bean Lady? As an RD, I’d heard about her years ago from a client and thought her protocol was literally nuts. And then I forgot about her, until Mark Sisson wrote a post about her because Julie of PaleOMG is doing the protocol. So Mark’s post is nice and all. But he didn’t look too far into Karen’s bio-chem of why the protocol works. She’s also very against saturated fat, especially coconut oil, and loves unsaturated fats. I’m curious as to your thoughts on her protocol and understanding the physiology. And are our poops really supposed to float? I’d always been taught no. Thanks, from the land of a thousand lakes.”
Robb: Man, so I had heard of Hurd, and this was a tough one.
Robb: H-U-R-D. This is another one of the … So the bean protocol is eating three to six … Pretty small servings, it’s like half cup servings of properly prepared beans and/or lentils. I used to love lentils. Thought they were amazing. I do amazingly well with them from a glycemic perspective, but they actually gave me joint problems, so there was a time where I was trying to include those and then I eventually abandoned them.
Robb: It goes through all this stuff, talking about we must have soluble fiber or like our system grinds to a halt, and we will die, and you can’t detoxify things. And it says that bile is a toxic substance. This is all patently false.
Robb: There was some thought that some of the problems that people experience is due to … bile-causing problems at the GI interface, and maybe there’s a scenario in which say the mucus layer gets degraded and people were saying for a long time that just simply low-carbohydrate would do that. But that’s not necessarily the case.
Robb: High-carbohydrate, but highly refined can be a problem. And I think maybe more of a problem. And then we discovered all of this information around animal protein sources, actually producing biurate, and propionate, and feeding the gut bacteria. And if you’re in a ketogenic state, then the beta-hydroxybutyrate actually diffuses from inside the body to into the intestinal lumen, and can feed bacteria.
Robb: So there’s a lot of redundant ways to fix all that stuff. The long and short, is that some people absolutely rock this process. Like they feel great on it, they have great digestion, they poop like champs. And then there are other people that this would absolutely crush them. I would have gut cramps from this, like I couldn’t even believe.
Robb: And I did it, more or less, in my vegan phase and I’ve got to say when I was doing the little bit of lentils that I tinkered with before, I was just kind of gassy and bloated. It was uncomfortable, whereas when I’m in this more kind of carnivore-ish state, and I have a little bit of fruit here and there, olives, tomatoes, zucchini, all that stuff typically pretty well cooked. And a little bit of citrus, a little bit of berries. I do pretty well with that.
Robb: And again, that’s an individual thing. I think you get in and tinker, and kind of see how you do. But, some of the claims are dubious. On the biochemistry side, but that is almost kind of a non-issue. If somebody gets in and does this, my thought is that Julie actually seemed to report that she felt good and enjoyed it, and it will probably include more of these foods as she goes forward. This is why we would tinker and experiment. And use these big picture heuristics as a starting place. And then, iterate off this. And who knows, as Julie goes through life, maybe she reaches a point where she’s like, “I don’t know if I’m going to keep beans in the mix.”
Robb: Or maybe she keeps them in the mix, in summer and fall, and not winter and spring. I don’t know, there’s so many options there. But, I’m not super impressed with all of the presented biochemistry and kind of molecular mechanisms on this. I think there’s kind of goofy stuff there. And at the end of the day, none of that matters if somebody tinkers with this, and they just look, feel, and perform better.
Nicki: Is she putting it forward as like the way that everybody should eat?
Robb: Yes. Yeah, she is a little dogmatic in that regard. Like she is fairly emphatic that saturated fat will kill you and … Yeah, so she’s a little dogmatic in that regard. But, I think she’s had success with this stuff.
Robb: And what’s interesting is she’s feeding people, not huge amounts of this, and the whole diet isn’t supposed to be built around just this stuff.
Nicki: What else are they eating?
Robb: It’s kind of a vegetarian leaning approach in general, is what she’s recommending. And again, like low-saturated fat, yeah, yeah.
Nicki: Okay. All righty. I think it’s trivia time.
Robb: Let’s do it.
Nicki: Today’s trivia sponsor is Drink Element. And Drink Element is giving a box of Element Recharge electrolytes to three lucky winners selected at random who answer the following question correctly.
Nicki: Robb, if you had to hunt and forage for your food in an area where the only critters scurrying around were squirrels and opossums. Which one would you go after?
Robb: I love the deep analysis that goes into these trivia questions. Just like, “Man, this is really a nail biting world moving topic. I would have to go with opossum. Because although they’re somewhat fleet of foot, they’re not nearly as fast as squirrels and they’re much larger. So each one you get, you get more back for your buck. And, there is the reality that the larger critter is generally the more fat they carry as a percentage of their mass. And so again, optimum foraging strategy, I should be getting more out of it, and they would probably be easier.
Robb: But you did not address, what do I have to hunt with?
Nicki: Oh, I don’t know. You have to make your own thing.
Robb: Then definitely opossum, because I’m not getting a squirrel.
Nicki: You can do a trap or something.
Robb: Our cats really cat squirrels.
Nicki: And if you’re relying only on the opossum population to feed yourself and presumably me and the girls. Then the snake population will be up, because we learned that opossums are really good at eating snakes. So then we can have snake as a second source of food.
Robb: Okay. And again, this is about the least helpful … The only thing helpful about this is three people may get some elements.
Nicki: They will. Yeah.
Nicki: All right. Opossum is the answer to play, go to robbwolf.com/trivia, enter your answer and we’ll randomly select three people with the correct answer to win a box of electrolytes from Drink Element.
Nicki: The cut off to answer this week’s trivia and be eligible to win is Thursday November 19th at midnight. Winners will be notified via email, and we’ll announce the winners on Instagram as well. This is open to residents of the US only.
Nicki: Okay. Our fourth question this week is from Matt on Type II Diabetic and BJJ recovery. “Hi Robb and Nicki, love the show and your books. And I have a question for your podcast. I’m a type II, possibly type 1.5 diabetic. I dropped 45 pounds when I was diagnosed, but it seems to be genetic in my family. So is just getting worse, not better, even after the weight loss. Age 47, I do weights, cardio, and yoga once or twice a week each. I’m a four stripe white belt in BJJ. I try to train three to six times a week in BJJ. And after BJJ, particularly sparring, but sometimes just drilling, I get extreme soreness to the point I struggle to sleep sometimes. I know about low-intensity exercise, hot and cold et cetera for recovery. But I’m in pain all the time.
Nicki: Am I just old? Or is my diabetes causing this by slowing my recovery? I try to eat fairly low carb, high protein, probably around 2400 calories, 100 to 150 grams of carbs, and 220 plus grams of protein. Too many carbs really shoots my blood sugar up. And I’m also sitting at a desk all day and more so in lockdown. So not moving much other than what I mentioned before. Walking around the house now, and wincing in pain when I get up or sit down. It sounds silly, but this just doesn’t seem normal. Any advice greatly appreciated.
Robb: So I would highly recommend checking out the Bernstein Diabetes Solution. I’ve got a link to that. There’s also a Facebook group if you’re still over on Facebook. The Type I Grit community, the Bernstein approach is interesting in that it’s a high protein, low carb, not necessarily high fat approach to managing diabetes. Dr. Bernstein developed it initially mainly type one diabetics, but it works great for type II diabetics. And there are a good number of people over there that are quite physically active. Some pretty high level athletes and whatnot, I think there are a few judoka and BJJ players over there in that scene.
Robb: So I would check that out and in addition to the dietary recommendations that Dr. Bernstein makes, he’s very nuanced in how you tackle your insulin, so that you are very precisely controlling blood sugar levels. Out of wack blood sugar levels can definitely alter your recovery and can worsen in soreness. That’s a fact, and the fact that Matt didn’t include any kind of blood sugar numbers. It’s hard to speculate about that. But, it’s well understood that poorly controlled blood sugar levels can and do worsen recovery.
Robb: So I would look into all those things, and then there is also just this reality that hard Jits training, you’re sore. I mean there’s just some degree of soreness attached to it.
Nicki: Three to six times a week is-
Robb: A lot. That’s a frisky amount. Yeah.
Nicki: If you’re not recovering, you might want to … You might consider just doing the lower end of that. Like three to four. If you’re not feeling recovered and you’re feeling super sore, and you’re wincing when you’re moving, and then going for another class might not be-
Robb: And maybe just drill that day, and then call it a day-
Nicki: And don’t do any live rolling.
Nicki: You can also go and do mobility work and watch. If you are just … If you’ve gone three or four times, and you’re feeling pretty beat up, and you really want to be down there because you get a lot out of that. Go and ask your coach if you can just sit and watch. I know that’s not as fun.
Robb: And you know, some days when we’re kind of beat up. We have been doing turtle sequence and a close-guard sequence that we kind of use as an AB, you all do five minutes top or bottom, you do five minutes top or bottom. We’ll do like close-guard that way, and then we’ll switch and do turtle. And we have some specific stuff we’re working. And there were a couple of days where we just smoked and we just went … We weren’t really even drilling. It was kind of almost looking more at the introduction phase of this stuff. Just going very slow doing some technical movement. And we did 40 minutes of that, and by the end of it we felt better. We weren’t beat up.
Robb: And then last night, we got pretty frisky. That was a good hard roll that we did last night.
Nicki: Just thinking here. So, I mean … Assuming he’s eating high protein, low carb. Should he be able to get to a spot where his … He’s thinking that this is a genetic feature, so he’s just going to …
Robb: So he mentioned 100 to 150 grams of carbs. Which in that Bernstein world is probably pretty high.
Robb: So, I think looking at that, and then also getting more granular on his insulin potentially. Bernstein really doesn’t like-
Nicki: Will he be taking insulin if he’s type II?
Robb: Well, he’s saying type 1.5, so he may be in the situation where maybe he developed type II diabetes. Or maybe it’s been a little more autoimmune driven the whole time. And so either way it’s probably more carbs than what is going to do well for him right now. And also, again, Bernstein is really nuanced in the way that he uses insulin. Like he’s not a fan of the really fast acting insulins because he feels like it’s over correcting on an icy road.
Robb: So that’s why I think checking that out and plugging into these communities, so he can describe, “Hey, I did this. And these were the results.” And then people can help him to kind of-
Nicki: To dial that in.
Robb: That stuff in. Again, there was the study that was conducted at Harvard. This was in children. But, the study reviewers said that they had never seen glycemic control like this in type I diabetic kids. That the kids had lower A1C’s than most “normal” free eating kids. Which it just speaks to what the remarkable blood sugar control is, that they’re getting out of this.
Nicki: All right. We’re onto question five. This one is from Christie, she has a question about managing bipolar. “Hi Robb, I’m a longtime listener, and I started reading and listening around 2011 when I switched to a Paleo diet and saw improvements in my overall health. I have bipolar II disorder without psychosis. I mostly deal with severe long-term depression. Once every few years, there’s some hypomania thrown in. And the last episode was triggered by an SSRI due to a misdiagnosis.
Nicki: There was one year, 2012 or so when I was stable and happy, and off meds. I was eating a strict Paleo solution diet, was working out, sleeping, and getting sunlight. I was doing everything by the book. I also didn’t have kids yet. Since having kids, I found it impossible to maintain the lifestyle as well as I need. Postpartum depression kicked my butt and sort of never left. Standard treatment is mood stabilizers, even Lamictal, which is considered the best in terms of its low-risk of side effects is giving me vertigo, making me dumb, and making me feel like I have chronic morning sickness. I’m gaining weight because I’m always hungry, something the doctor said wouldn’t happen. And no, I don’t normally struggle with my weight.
Nicki: Aside from being militant about everything I mentioned earlier, sleep, exercise, diet, and sunlight. Do you know of any specific protocols for managing bipolar off meds? Even the mention of this sends people into a tailspin, but it’s something I’m really looking into. You’ve been so helpful throughout the years. Thank you.
Robb: Definitely not my area of expertise, but the folks that I talk to about this. We have a couple psychiatrist friends, and they had mentioned foods, like looking for foods that are richer in lithium. There are some water sources that are rick in lithium and then there are some supplements that provide a non-trivial amount of lithium. That helps some people. Fish oil, adequate levels of fish oil, maybe like four to five grams a day of an EPA, DHA mix. Suggests that it can be helpful for folks, particularly when we hear postpartum depression. I can’t remember if we were talking to someone, or we mentioned this in a podcast, this is the old man deal where … I’ve been telling this story-
Nicki: When we were in Reno.
Robb: Okay, and we were talking to somebody about this. And I saw an ancestral health event symposium talk, from a researcher that mentioned that one of the main determinants of how much weight women gain, is the relative amount of EPA, DHA they have in their body fat. And women who have higher amount of EPA, DHA do not gain as much overall weight, because the body is kind prime for having enough available to grow the infant brain. And so, you’re either going to have lower fat mass with higher EPA, DHA. Or higher fat mass overall, so that on average there’s enough there.
Robb: So when we hear about postpartum depression, usually like the first kid there’s not much of an issue, and then like subsequent kids, that can become a really significant issue. So I think that can be helpful.
Robb: And then, one interesting development at the end of this election cycle in the US, is a number of places legalized and/or decriminalized the use of different types of psychedelics, particularly in the treatment of depression and situations like this. Things ranging from ketamine to psilocybin and a host of other products. And again, it’s pretty individual and we don’t have a ton of research on this yet. But there seems to be some interesting literature that suggests that even micro-dosing of these substances can help people in pretty profound ways. So I would start investigating some of that, maybe you need to do a tripped organ or something like that. Find someone to do an intervention like this. But, it seems to be almost like a hard shutoff on the hard drive or a system reboot or something like for the folks for whom this stuff works.
Robb: I’ve mainly read about ketamine, there’s a little bit more on psilocybin that’s coming out. But it’s not like you need to do this all the time. Like you do one, it’s a pretty profound shift. It’s been ages since I’ve read about this. But one of the most consistently successful alcohol treatment protocols is a mescalin ceremony via the Native American Church. Like it’s about 100% success rate. Where it’s like usually alcohol cessation interventions. They only look good relative to smoking. It just sucks, it’s as bad as weight loss and all these other things.
Robb: So some of these psychedelic interventions are really interesting. And it’s heartening that we’re getting to a spot where people are kind of like, and also we have enough mental health challenges that people are facing that people were willing to begin looking at these things in a very controlled, monitored, managed way. And I think that there could be some real upside to these.
Robb: So Christie, best thoughts to you and whatever you do, tinkering with any of this. Please keep us updated, that’d be really interesting to know what you have going on and if any of this stuff seems to help.
Nicki: All right, that’s a wrap. That was our fifth and final question for this week. Thanks everyone for joining us. Remember to check out our show sponsor Joovv for your red light therapy device, and get an exclusive discount on your first order. Go to joovv.com/robb. That’s joovv.com/robb and apply the code ROBB to your qualifying order.
Nicki: What else Hubs? Any final remaining thoughts?
Robb: You look even more gorgeous at the end of the podcast than at the beginning.
Nicki: Aw, thank you. You’re the best.
Nicki: All right everybody, have a great weekend. And we’ll see you all next time.
Robb: Bye everybody. Take care.
Nicki: Bye. …
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